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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, August 16, 2019

The United States Must Stand Strong with the People of Hong Kong

by Newt Gingrich: Over the past two months, the world has seen the people of Hong Kong bravely stand up to the growing threat of totalitarianism. What began as a protest against a bill that would allow prisoners to be extradited to mainland China has evolved into a movement to demand that the Hong Kong government (largely now controlled by China’s Communist Party) adheres to the promises of freedom and autonomy it made upon its return to China in 1997.

Protestors have flooded the streets since June – despite the threat of being arrested, smothered with tear gas, pelted with rubber bullets, or attacked by masked thugs with batons. While Chinese tanks have lined up along the border of Hong Kong and mainland China, protestors have waved the American flag and sung the American national anthem. The protesters show no signs of wavering, and the outcome of these protests remains uncertain.

But one thing is for sure – the United States of America and the free world is watching. Chinese Communist Party leaders must know there will be consequences if the freedoms that were promised to the people of Hong Kong are eradicated by a communist totalitarian dictatorship. This is more than a protest about a proposed new law; it is about protecting the people of Hong Kong from tyranny and despotism – and keeping a growing totalitarian power at bay.

Importantly, this effort by the Chinese Communist Party to meddle in Hong Kong’s affairs is just one part of the totalitarian regime’s plans to expand its power. As I discuss in my upcoming book, Trump vs. China, the Chinese Communist Party is taking actions across the globe that are threatening American interests, security, and values. To successfully counter this threat, a unified American response is critical.

I am glad to see our leaders are currently in agreement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that “any violent crackdown would be completely unacceptable. … The world is watching.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy affirmed, “America stands for freedom. America stands with Hong Kong.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted that the Congress stands “united with the people of Hong Kong in demanding their right to a hopeful, free and democratic future.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed Pelosi saying, “America stands with the people of Hong Kong in their protest against this abuse of power by the government of Beijing.”

The American people are also starting to recognize the challenge that a totalitarian communist-ruled China poses to the United States. A recent Pew poll found that Americans are increasingly skeptical of the Chinese Communist Party’s actions, with 60 percent of respondents reporting unfavorable views of China. This is the highest percentage in the 14 years that Pew has posed this question.

As American opposition to the Chinese Communist Party’s tactics grows, it is up to government and industry leaders to begin asking and answering the tough questions. Can businesses continue to turn a blind eye to Chinese-led hacking that results in an estimated loss of $360 billion per year in intellectual property for the sake of their stock prices? Can institutes of higher education keep ignoring the distribution of Chinese Communist Party propaganda through Confucius Institutes on American campuses for the sake of financial gain? Can the defense bureaucracy retire old institutional technology and weaponry for the sake of more efficient strategies and tactics? Can government and private sector leaders put aside short-sighted partisan politics and personal interests to address this threat?

The Trump administration has taken a hardline stance against the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressive tactics, but this challenge is far from over. In fact, it is just beginning.

I don’t believe this has to evolve into any sort of US military conflict. But President Trump’s tariffs on China are just one of many ways we can make the nation’s leaders regret bad behavior.

The United States now has an opportunity to send a strong message to Beijing and preserve the freedom and rights of the people in Hong Kong. We can start by passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. This bill was introduced by Congressman Christopher Smith in the House and Senator Marco Rubio in the Senate and will hold officials in Hong Kong and China accountable for the suppression of freedom and human rights in Hong Kong.

The United States must stand with the people of Hong Kong and the legacy of freedom that they are trying to protect. If America cannot effectively respond as a nation against the Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to stamp out freedom in Hong Kong, we will be hard pressed to successfully counter their aggression in the United States and around the world.
----------------------
Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. This commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, United States, Must Stand Strong, with the People, Hong Kong To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Same People Who Pushed Early Release For Gun Felons Now Want To Take Guns Without Due Process

by Daniel Horowitz: For every person who fits the profile of the El Paso shooter, there are likely thousands who fit the profile of Maurice Hill, the man arrested for shooting six cops in north Philadelphia yesterday. Based on a quick look at court documents from Philadelphia and Delaware Counties, Hill has a rap sheet dating back to 2001 that includes charges for illegal gun possession, drugs, driving offenses, assault, burglary, theft, robbery, kidnapping, and attempted murder. However, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was only “convicted six times on charges that involved illegal possession of guns, drug dealing, and aggravated assault.”

Will there be any soul-searching trying to figure out why so many of these people wind up unconvinced, under-sentenced, and back on the streets? As the Inquirer put it, “his record would indicate, he does not like to go to prison. In 2008, he was convicted of escaping, fleeing from police, and resisting arrest. Along the way, he beat criminal charges on everything from kidnapping to attempted murder.”

Nope. Instead, they very people who have created the drive in the criminal justice system to let these people out of jail are pushing a war on guns for law-abiding people. Meanwhile, the criminals who illegally get guns every day in places like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Chicago are never punished!

Most Americans understand that bad criminals do the most harm to public safety, not any single weapon or object. Yet the very people pushing a war on guns are the ones who support letting out dangerous criminal from prison. That begins with Lindsey Graham, who, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is now teaming up with Richard Blumenthal to push a “red flag” bill stripping guns from people without due process, without addressing the issue of locking up the actual dangerous people with criminal records. This is the “lock up the guns and let the criminals out” approach.

On February 15, 2018, the day after the Parkland shooting, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a “criminal justice reform” bill in a vote of 16-5 with overwhelming bipartisan support. In addition to reducing mandatory minimums for hardened career gang members in federal prison, sections 104 and 105 of this bill would reduce the mandatory minimums for those charged with firearms violations during the course of drug offenses or other violent crimes. Crimes involving firearms were the third most common offense in the federal system in recent years.

Lindsey Graham, Richard Blumenthal, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Kamala Harris, and the whole cast of characters pushing to strip gun rights without due process voted to release gun felons who were convicted after painstaking due process.

Ultimately, the final “First Step” act passed last December didn’t contain these provisions to reduce sentences for gun felons, but it did reduce sentences for repeat drug traffickers, who, in the federal system, are often gang members who commit gun violence but plead down to drug charges. Moreover, the final bill had back-end early release programs that allow career criminals, including gun felons, to get as much as one-third of their time converted to parole.

But let’s not forget that these people wanted to go much further, and if not for people like Sen. Tom Cotton forcing changes to the bill, they would have reduced sentencing for those using guns in furtherance of drug trafficking – the most violent gun felons around. Even former Attorney General Holder agreed that retroactivity should not apply to those who received a mandatory minimum sentence for a firearms offense pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) or an enhancement for possession of a dangerous weapon under the sentencing guidelines.

Yet Ivanka Trump, who is now working with people like Lindsey Graham to promote gun control, was one of the driving forces behind the jailbreak bill and is continuing to push even more ideas to loosen penalties on federal convicts, who are often the most violent gun felons in the criminal justice system.

Here’s the reality that Ms. Trump and Graham are ignoring. There have been 1,196 victims of mass shootings since 1966. That is 0.001 percent of the 928,093 homicide victims from 1966 to 2017. Everyone agrees that there is no guaranteed policy solution for potentially dangerous people who have no criminal record. This is why polls show only a third of voters think that any gun control measure could prevent these attacks.

However, most of the remaining homicides, which account for 99.99 percent of victims, are perpetrated by known career criminals. These are the murders that are totally avoidable with better deterrents and stronger punishment, not weaker punishment as Ivanka Trump and Lindsey Graham have advocated. This is doubly true for foreign national murderers who can and should be removed from the country, yet these same politicians support liberal immigration policies and not enforcing our existing laws.

Just in one year’s worth of ICE apprehensions, foreign nationals were convicted or arrested for 2,028 homicide offenses, 5,562 robberies, 11,766 weapons offenses, 50,753 assault charges, 76,585 dangerous drug charges, 80,730 DUIs, and over 12,000 sexual offenses. That was among a total of 542,798 criminal convictions and arrests accrued between these aliens. And remember, given that most illegal aliens live in sanctuary jurisdictions that don’t cooperate with ICE, this is likely a much smaller share of the total universe of alien criminality that exists because the feds never find out about many of these criminals before they are released.

Just one year of apprehensions nets over 2,000 arrests. And unlike mass shootings of first-timers, murders by criminal aliens are almost 100 percent avoidable. Nearly 11,000 people per year die from drunk driving accidents.

Just last week, a known gang member who was released in California under the very sort of programs pushed on a federal level by Lindsey Graham and Ivanka Trump killed four people with a knife. Under their approach of letting out bad gang members locked up on drug charges (as was the case here), while going after “assault” rifles, they would not only have missed this guy, but enabled him while potentially disarming future victims.

Republicans used to understand that guns don’t kill, but bad people kill, which is why they were for the Second Amendment while against letting out criminals. Now they are seeking to cast a wide net around constitutional rights for a broad population without due process as they release known criminals, including criminal aliens who could be deported, who absolutely had extremely thorough due process. That’s exactly what the Dukakis Democrats stood for. Now, if conservatives will allow the GOP to become the party of Lindsey Grahamnesty and Ivanka Trump, that will be what Republicans stand for as well.
--------------------------
Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) is a senior editor of Conservative Review He is also the author of Stolen Sovereignty.

Tags: Daniel Horowitz, senior editor, Conservative Review, same people, who pushed early release, for gun felons, now want to take guns, without due process To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

AR Lottery Scholarship Funding Nears Five-Year Low

Jerry Cox, Contributing Author: Last week the Arkansas Lottery released its financial statements for the month of July.

The report shows the Lottery took in over $41.2 million last month, but gave only $4.5 million to college scholarships — 11% of the Lottery’s total revenue for the month.

The Lottery’s scholarship budget for a single month hasn’t been this bad since February of 2016, when the Arkansas Lottery paid less than $4.5 million to scholarships.

As far as we can tell, July was the Arkansas Lottery’s third-worst month in the past five years when it came to scholarship funding.

The Arkansas Lottery made, on average, over $1.3 million every day last month. There’s simply no good reason the Lottery can’t give students more than 11 cents out  of every dollar.

Below is a breakdown of Arkansas Lottery revenue and scholarship funding from the past five years.

Month

Gross Lottery Revenue

Paid to Scholarships

% Gross Revenue

July, 2014

30,925,067.43

5,928,447.99

19.2%

August

31,571,412.10

5,296,965.80

16.8%

September

30,710,493.31

4,317,227.10

14.1%

October

32,959,739.29

5,939,625.59

18.0%

November

30,617,278.28

5,577,035.16

18.2%

December

34,507,731.54

5,474,318.77

15.9%

January,

35,433,619.67

7,287,773.28

20.6%
2015

February

41,770,314.46

6,161,343.01

14.8%

March

37,367,453.25

6,898,524.35

18.5%

April

33,866,970.54

5,881,005.95

17.4%

May

35,689,036.10

5,409,050.48

15.2%

June

33,815,559.59

8,278,928.14

24.5%

July

31,665,651.14

5,784,683.09

18.3%

August

31,265,177.55

5,490,094.00

17.6%

September

36,134,389.63

6,624,967.11

18.3%

October

35,261,533.80

6,020,642.32

17.1%

November

32,226,599.28

5,725,139.09

17.8%

December

38,670,746.09

6,425,754.66

16.6%

January,
2016

58,746,249.00

13,831,359.75

23.5%

February

40,790,144.05

4,474,356.06

11.0%

March

40,579,421.05

5,758,892.84

14.2%

April

37,516,802.47

7,392,837.00

19.7%

May

38,485,146.05

6,606,164.94

17.2%

June

34,983,951.24

11,249,220.37

32.2%

July

38,237,293.92

8,714,386.39

22.8%

August

35,091,022.09

5,498,714.86

15.7%

September

33,113,391.64

5,773,076.42

17.4%

October

34,061,993.14

5,165,040.54

15.2%

November

37,042,079.72

6,570,979.51

17.7%

December

35,352,159.35

4,596,532.22

13.0%

January,
2017

37,062,291.39

7,947,546.21

21.4%

February

41,176,854.60

6,698,099.62

16.3%

March

43,405,541.56

6,204,704.75

14.3%

April

38,671,617.14

7,845,827.56

20.3%

May

38,185,263.61

7,068,770.18

18.5%

June

38,517,227.85

13,193,652.18

34.3%

July

36,885,396.81

6,661,762.99

18.1%

August

49,320,459.23

8,912,741.54

18.1%

September

36,405,731.14

6,755,333.93

18.6%

October

39,802,740.53

5,667,305.74

14.2%

November

36,186,107.78

6,691,228.00

18.5%

December

44,716,219.32

6,583,355.77

14.7%

January,
2018

44,063,056.11

8,230,861.00

18.7%

February

39,389,927.57

5,947,647.50

15.1%

March

53,523,320.61

7,945,570.02

14.8%

April

42,064,194.78

7,192,997.10

17.1%

May

40,447,182.69

8,037,624.80

19.9%

June

37,685,874.97

13,364,612.64

35.5%

July

42,413,352.70

5,066,628.73

11.9%

August

40,343,279.62

6,175,998.40

15.3%

September

35,198,809.72

7,783,450.82

22.1%

October

57,575,285.62

11,259,040.31

19.6%

November

37,700,016.00

6,821,411.01

18.1%

December

45,859,642.73

6,650,791.54

14.5%

January,
2019

40,574,813.28

7,848,495.62

19.3%

February

41,060,111.75

8,198,257.31

20.0%

March

51,988,380.67

8,552,307.04

16.5%

April

43,951,257.94

8,176,383.34

18.6%

May

41,158,346.08

8,396,193.42

20.4%

June

38,413,526.87

13,482,789.59

35.1%

July

41,239,173.79

4,523,930.75

11.0%
-----------------
Jerry Cox is the founder and president of Family Council and the Education Alliance and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Jerry Cox, Family Council, AR Lottery, Scholarship Funding, Nears Five-Year Low To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Pocahontas' Presidential Run Should be Over

Lloyd Marcus
by Lloyd Marcus: While driving on a beautiful day in West Virginia, I heard this news reported over my car radio. Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said Michael Brown was “murdered” by a “white” policeman in Ferguson, Mo. I became filled with anger. I thought, “This wicked woman's presidential run should be over.” Everyone knows Brown was shot while assaulting a police officer in his patrol car while Brown tried to take the officer's gun.

Warren’s insidiously evil lie tells voters everything they need to know about her. Obsessed with gaining power, Warren has decided that the lives of brave and honorable police officers and the lives of Americans potentially killed in a race war are acceptable collateral damage to achieve her goal -- the White House.

My thoughts raced back to the heartbreaking Facebook post by 13-year-old Jaden Ramos. Jaden's dad was a NYC police officer who was assassinated along with another officer while sitting in their cruiser on special patrol doing crime reduction work.

Jaden and numerous other children of police officers lost their fathers because Democrats and fake news media lied about the Brown shooting in Ferguson and other incidents. Consequently, Black Lives Matter declared it “open season” on killing police and white people. Angry black youths responded with revenge assassinations of police across America.

Jaden posted:
“Today I had to say bye to my father. He was their for me everyday of my life, he was the best father I could ask for. It's horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer. Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad.”For Warren to reignite the “Brown was murdered” lie five years later is beyond the pale. Warren deceptively markets herself as having superior compassion for victims. In reality, Warren is cold and calculating, willing to say anything in her perverse quest for power to control every aspect of our lives. Elizabeth Warren is a despicable human being.

If you watch, people always show you who they really are. Years ago, I attended a meeting in Washington D.C. I met a politician who sounded great. After the meeting, away from cameras and microphones, he treated his assistant humiliatingly. My opinion of him suffered.

Just like her fake Indian heritage, Warren has shown us that her self-proclaimed superior compassion is fake also.

Warren's irresponsible lie about the circumstances of Brown's death so infuriated me because it sent a clarion call to blacks to kill more cops. I have had my fill of Democrats instigating hate, violence, and divisiveness while falsely portraying themselves as paragons of superior compassion. Meanwhile, the Democrats' fake news media buddies demonize decent everyday Americans for opposing socialism and anti-Americanism.

Does character matter when selecting our leaders? Absolutely.
“When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” Proverbs 29:2.President George Washington said, “…a good moral character is the first essential in a man…It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.”

Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and their fellow Democrats instigating the murdering of police by continuing to lie about Michael Brown is the polar opposite of virtuous.
“The people "have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge -- I mean of the character and conduct of their rulers.” -- John Adams

“The qualities of a great man are "vision, integrity, courage, understanding, the power of articulation, and profundity of character.” -- Dwight Eisenhower

“Character is the only secure foundation of the state.” -- Calvin Coolidge

“Americanism is a question of principle, of purpose, of idealism, of character. It is not a matter of birthplace or creed or line of descent.” --Theodore Roosevelt

“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.: "I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside me.” -- Abraham Lincoln
Since having to defend President Bill Clinton's serial adultery and numerous allegations of sexual assault, Democrats and fake news media say that expecting character in our leaders is unrealistic.

Elizabeth Warren seated in the big chair in the Oval Office would be the equivalent of wicked Hillary on steroids; severely punishing achievers, disarming law-abiding gun-owners, jailing political opponents, dividing Americans into groups that hate each other, persecuting Christians, killing babies after birth, crushing our economy and government, tyrannically micromanaging our lives.

As president, Warren's lack of character would reap horrifying and devastating consequences. Who in their right mind would vote for a presidential candidate who is complicit in the murder of police? Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren must never be allowed anywhere near becoming leader of the free world.
---------------
Lloyd Marcus (@LloydMarcus) is an "Unhyphenated American" and an internationally renowned conservative columnist, singer/songwriter and author. He is Chairman of the Conservative Campaign Committee Political Action Committee. He is a prominent voice of the American Tea Party movement and the singer/songwriter of the ”American Tea Party Anthem.”

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The HR Dept. – How Socialism Kills Economic Progress

by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: A common-sense principle of business is that managers must have the authority to hire and fire at will. After all, the very reason for a business to exist is to generate a profit for the owners and investors. So managers will compete for the best employees to maximize returns, just as they compete for customers by trying to provide the best product or service at the best price. The companies who hire and retain the best people will thrive, while the others will fade away.

HR (human resources) departments are poison to profit.

A product of the civil rights movement in 1965, the federal government created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to eliminate hiring discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color or national origin. Every company that does business with the federal government and has 50 or more employees must implement and document an “affirmative action program”.

The EEO/AAP was, and is, a typical big government solution to a problem that should be solved by free market supply and demand. It established rigid quotas based on race, which was then expanded to protect women and the disabled. Soon every minority group, including the evolving alphabet-soup of genders, was lawyering up.

Faced with a mountain of reporting requirements and legal complications, businesses responded by creating and staffing HR departments, a phenomenon that may have done more damage to the economy than any other factor since the depression.

While a manager or owner will make every effort to find the most talented, qualified, and industrious people to fill positions, and reward them well with promotions and compensation, HR departments exist only to meet “diversity” requirements. The result is companies are staffed with many unqualified, unmotivated, and sometimes underpaid minorities (often H1B visa holders) who know they can’t be fired. The “Peter Principle” (individuals are promoted beyond their level of competence) is rampant in many large organizations.

Managers who try to hire or promote talented non-minority employees are stymied by HR. Add the influence of union protection (i.e. government employees), and performance predictably suffers.

Despite 53 years of EEO/AAP and all kinds of other identity-driven programs, liberal politicians still pander for votes by screaming “RAAAAACIST!” at common-sense conservative opponents, who know that for-profit businesses will hire and promote the best people regardless of minority status, which encourages all workers to improve their performance (not their pigmentation or gender) and compete for the best jobs. And that propels the economy and raises standards of living for everybody.
---------------
Tom Balek is a fellow conservative activist, blogger, musician and contributes to the ARRA News Service. Tom resides in South Carolina and seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come. He blogs at Rockin' On the Right Side

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Fighting For Faith, Family And Freedom

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer: Fighting For Faith, Family And Freedom
One of the left's big themes is that the president and his supporters are racists. If you need any more evidence, check out the latest column by Byron York detailing how the New York Times is shifting its coverage of the president from Russia to racism.

Trump addressed this absurd claim during his New Hampshire rally last night. Here's what he said:

"Our movement is built on love. . . We love our family. We love our faith. We love our flag and we love our freedom, and that's what it's about. . . We love our neighbors and we love our country."

It is a beautiful quote, and, of course, it is true. Without any doubt, I know all of you reading this would agree with those words. And he has said it before.

Whether the president intended it or not, it is also a great description of what the culture war is all about and why it is raging with such intensity. This is a fight over the very meaning of America.

Notice there is not a word in the president's statement that refers to race or ethnic background. The president's supporters come from every ethnic group. Native-born American, immigrants, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc.
  • We love our families. That has been a huge battleground over the last 20 years. The courts forced a radical redefinition of marriage and family. And I believe the reaction to that decision led more Christians than ever before to vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
  • We love our faith. For decades, the left has been chipping away at religious liberty. Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court was forced to rule on a case brought by some who wanted to tear down a war memorial because it was a cross. We won that case, but imagine how it would have gone if Trump had not nominated the last two justices. In an era of rising anti-Semitism and militant secularism, those who cherish Judeo-Christian values must stand firm.
  • We love our flag. Of course we do. Sadly not everybody does. The left has been associated with flag burning for decades. (Have you ever seen a conservative demonstration try to make its point by burning the flag?) Some liberal politicians want to drop the Pledge of Allegiance. When Colin Kaepernick disrespected the flag and national anthem, the left defended him.
  • We love our freedom. Virtually every freedom guaranteed to us in the constitution is under attack by the left. Freedom of speech is under attack on university campuses and online by big tech. The freedom to defend yourself with a firearm and religious freedom are under attack. Economic freedom is under assault by socialists.
It is very revealing that any time the president or any conservative defends these things the left tries to define our defense as some form of "bigotry" or as somehow racially motivated. Progressives know they are very vulnerable on these issues. And so the only way they can win the debate is to shut it down by linking these values to hatred.

So when the president takes on Colin Kaepernick over the flag, virtually no one on the left says, "The flag doesn't deserve to be honored." Instead, they say, "Look at Trump attacking a black man."

And that brings us to the election.

Much of the Republican establishment believes that the president must make his campaign all about the economy and our economic success. That is a powerful argument for his reelection. Historically, presidents who preside over strong economies win elections, while presidents who preside over weak economies lose.

But tell that to Mitt Romney.

Barack Obama presided over a weak economy and all that Romney talked about was the economy. He ran from cultural values issues like a cat with its tail on fire.

James Dobson and I met with him privately, and urged him to stand up for and defend Chick-fil-A. He wouldn't even do that.

Meanwhile, Obama constantly signaled his position on left-wing cultural issues. Law enforcement is racist. America isn't exceptional. We owe the world an apology. While all that was jarring to us, it rallied young, progressive voters, which polling shows have some of the lowest patriotic impulses in history.

Thankfully, I have no doubt that Donald Trump understands all this.

Yes, he will trumpet great employment figures, a booming energy industry, rising wages, etc. But he also knows that man does not live by bread alone. He knows that faith and family, God and country are more than just buzzwords and slogans.

I am convinced that no future Republican presidential candidate will be able to win the White House unless they are willing to speak boldly for the silent majority of Americans who embrace the president's words about faith, family and freedom.
-------------------
Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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To God’s Ears . . .

. . . Democrats blast Thoughts and prayers as useless while they sit on a history of useless gun laws that do nothing to stop mass murders.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: AF Branco, editorial cartoon, To God's Ears, Democrats blast, Thoughts and prayers, as useless, while they sit on, history of useless gun laws, that do nothing, to stop, mass murders. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A $1 Trillion Deficit Is Bad. The Reality Is Much Worse.

by Chuck Chokel: President Trump’s signing of a two-year budget deal earlier this month may have averted the chances of another government shutdown before the 2020 election, but it certainly added to the exposure of U.S. taxpayers. According to recent Treasury reports, the deficit has risen to nearly $900 billion over the first 10 months of this fiscal year, a 27% increase from last year. The Trump administration is now expecting the deficit to reach more than $1 trillion for the year as a whole. A more holistic forecast of the increase in U.S. indebtedness exceeds $9 trillion for the same year. This is due in large part to growth in unfunded Social Security and Medicare liabilities.

The most widely reported measures of federal government deficits mislead Americans about the severity of our government’s fiscal problems. The annual budget deficit is reported according to cash basis accounting, which generally only includes the activity in the government’s checkbook. The growth in the amount of retirement benefits the government owes to our seniors and veterans is not included.

Because cash basis accounting does not provide a complete picture of an entity's revenues and expenses, the IRS does not allow a corporation that has revenues of more than $25 million to report their books on a cash basis. Yet Congress uses this method of accounting to calculate the more than $4 trillion budget. The budget deficit calculation does not include the growth in the Social Security, Medicare and veterans’ liabilities and Congress does not set aside enough money to pay the benefits promised.

This misleading accounting has been happening for more than 100 years. For example, in 2001 the Treasury reported the government ran a $127 billion cash basis surplus but the government was actually running a $4 trillion deficit. This “true” deficit includes the growth in unfunded Social Security, Medicare and veterans’ benefits. In 2010 the reported budget deficit was $1.3 trillion, but the true deficit was four times more at $5.5 trillion. Truth in Accounting is forecasting a $9 trillion true deficit, which includes a significant growth in unfunded Medicare benefits as calculated by the Medicare trustees.

In 2000 the true debt was $25.5 trillion. With average true deficits since then of almost $5 trillion, the true debt at the end of this fiscal year is expected to be a staggering $119 trillion.

This vast debt load eclipses the total net worth of all U.S. households! This means that even if all Americans signed over all of their net assets, including their cars, houses, stocks and bonds, to the U.S. Treasury, the federal government still would not have enough to cover all of the benefits seniors and veterans have been promised. Under current law and policies, the federal debt will continue to rapidly worsen, due in large part to the ever-increasing amount of unfunded Social Security and Medicare obligations.

It’s all the more galling that the recent deterioration in our public purse has come during a tailwind of positive economic growth and historically low interest rates. Turnarounds in either or both of these factors will add to our fiscal disaster. Fixing our government’s fiscal problems would require profound new legislation including very large tax increases and cuts to entitlements and other spending.

While Congress is unlikely to propose the massive changes needed, the federal government may be tempted to print money to pay necessary benefits, resulting in higher inflation. Inflation poisons real economic growth and will result in even higher Social Security and Medicare costs.

Consider the reasons our government has offered for not including unfunded Social Security and Medicare promises as liabilities on its balance sheet — that the government controls the law, and can change it at any time. Also, the securities “held” in the Trust Funds are debts the government says it owes to itself, not to anyone expecting Social Security benefits.

It’s as though the collective “we” are standing on a beach watching the water flow out to sea before the tsunami arrives. To move ahead, we must first overcome the obstacles of an unaware citizenry, an uninterested media and politicians unwilling to tackle such gigantic problems.
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Chuck Chokel is former co-CEO of Progressive Insurance and current board member of Truth in Accounting, a nonprofit whose mission is to educate and empower citizens with understandable, reliable and transparent government financial information. H/T The Fiscal Times.

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Why Milton Friedman Rightly Opposed Drug Re-Importation

Milton Friedman
by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: Is government-facilitated re-importation of prescription medicines from Canada – a policy now supported by politicians as diverse as President Donald Trump and Senator Bernard Sanders – an issue of free trade, or a backdoor method of imposing price controls? That's the way the question is usually framed in policy debates, but the great Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman took a third view.

"The issue is patents," Friedman explained in a 2004 interview with Jim Glassman that can now only be found in the Internet Archive. "The issue is a government-granted monopoly and whether that, how extensively the rights that are granted for that purpose extend. The real issue is not really re-importation. The real issue in my opinion is the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA in the United States has followed policy, which means that it costs roughly $800 million to bring a single new drug entity to the market."

That figure has only climbed since, and now stands at over $2.6 billion according to a widely cited estimate from Tufts University that itself is now a few years old and therefore likely a lowball.

"And the question is where is that $800 million going to come from?" Friedman continued. "The answer we have given is that it's going to come by giving the producer of the drug a patent, a monopoly privilege to sell that drug, to exclude others from the sale of that drug. And the question is, are you going to enforce that exclusion? The only way in which that $800 million can be raised is by charging very high prices to some people. Now, the question is given that you're charging those high prices to some people, is it okay to charge low prices to some people? This is a standard case of a monopoly which engages in price discrimination as a way of maximizing its income. It charges high prices where the elasticity of demand is low, it charges low prices where the elasticity of demand is relatively high to the citizens of other countries."

In other words, the company that invests the exorbitant cost of developing a new drug is incentivized to do so by the prospects of securing a United States patent that will exclude anyone else from selling the drug in the United States for a period of time. That exclusive right provides the mechanism for the innovator to recover the cost of developing the drug and return a profit to its investors. When foreign countries, including Canada, suppress prices through government price control policies, drug companies may still choose to sell at those lower prices to maximize their income.

While higher prices abroad would incentivize more research and development and more cures – and we should continue to work hard in trade negotiations to loosen price controls abroad – as long as foreign governments set prices above marginal cost, it is in the interest of drug companies to take the additional profit on top of their main business in the U.S. market. And it is their right, as patent holders, to do so.

Friedman used a thought experiment: "Consider the following case: Suppose somebody in Canada simply counterfeits a patented drug. Does free trade require that the US accept importation of that drug? I think the answer's no, if you're going to enforce the patent, you have to keep out such counterfeits. Well, fundamentally and from an economic point of view, essentially when drugs that are purchased in the United States under a contract that they will be sold in Canada, or instead shipped to the United States, that's the same thing. That's violating the patent law."

"There's no denying the fact that prices are cheaper in Canada. But the purpose of the law, the purpose of the patent was to enable the patent owner to make enough money to pay for the cost of producing the drug. And that's not going to be possible unless you have price discrimination. And price discrimination adds to human welfare, it permits a larger number of people around the world to have the drug than it could otherwise do so."

Moreover, the drug companies would not be obliged to export unlimited quantities of their patented medicines to Canada that would then be shipped back to the United States, competing with their products as a lower, Canadian-government-set price. They would almost certainly restrict supply into the Canadian market or cease sales entirely to prevent undermining their pricing power in the American market. Which means the potential loss of Canadian sales, a reduced return on capital overall, and upward, not downward pressure on U.S. prices. And the excess supply in Canada available for the U.S. market would therefore – despite whatever protocols are in place to assure safety – consist largely of counterfeits.

As the great law and economic scholar Richard Epstein put it in a 2003 essay that likely influenced Friedman: "reimportation is just a costly way (two shipments, not one) to avoid a price discrimination regime that is legal and proper under domestic law. It will not do for American law to let foreign pricing practices dictate our own pricing strategies. Banning parallel imports, alas, does not supply any remedy to the persistent problem of foreign free riding on American innovation, when foreign governments use their sovereign power to limit price freedom in their own countries. The only way to counter that misguided effort is through tough trade negotiations."

It's still true.
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Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment. Follow him at (@kerpen) and on Facebook. He is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service.

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Control Criminals and Crazies, Not Guns

by Daniel Greenfield: In 2003, Kim Dae-han, a middle-aged taxi driver, killed 192 people and left 151 others wounded, by setting a South Korean subway train on fire using paint cans filled with gasoline. In 2016, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Muslim terrorist, killed 86 people and wounded 458 others by ramming a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in France. In 2001, Muslim terrorists killed 2,977 people and injured 6,000 more, by using box cutters to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings.

Guns are a tool. There are a whole lot of other devastating ways to kill lots of people.

American mass killers often use guns because they’re convenient and available. There are plenty of alternatives like trucks, boxcutters, pressure cooker bombs and paint cans full of gasoline.

Mass murder isn’t caused by the tools you use. The Nazis were not inspired to kill Jews by the invention of Zyklon B. The Japanese did not decide to kill hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians because of the availability of airplanes. The Soviet Communists did not commit their acts of mass murder because their arms stockpiles didn’t need a waiting period to obtain machine guns for their mass shootings.

Murder is not a technical problem. It’s a moral problem. It happens because of internal decisions made in the mind, not external tools. The tools are used to implement the decisions of the mind.

A society with mass murder is experiencing a moral problem.

America’s moral problem is more complex than that of Nazi Germany or its Communist counterparts. We don’t have a government that is actively killing people. Instead we have a government that has made it easy for killers to operate by dismantling the criminal justice and immigration systems, making it very difficult to stop the three primary categories of killers, gang members, terrorists and the insane.

And media corporations have been allowed to glamorize killers who seek fame through massacres.

Gun controllers insist that the Founding Fathers never anticipated the problem of mass shooters. That’s probably true. But they would have also never tolerated the conditions that brought them into being, a permissive criminal justice system, a failure to institutionalize the mentally ill, and a media that promotes these acts of violence under the guise of condemning them and clamoring for gun control.

The America of the Bill of Rights could have had modern weapons without constant mass shootings.

The Founding Fathers understood that murder was not a technical problem, a matter of tools, but a moral problem. The Bill of Rights was meant for a moral society. It cannot function in an immoral one.

"Government would be defective in its principal purpose were it not to restrain such criminal acts, by inflicting due punishments on those who perpetrate them," Thomas Jefferson wrote in a Virginia criminal justice bill submitted a few years after authoring the Declaration of Independence.

It is not the purpose of government to control weapons, but to control criminals.

Western countries have instead focused on controlling guns, while failing to control criminals. This has led to absurdities such as ‘knife control’ in the UK and public bollards to control car rammings. Flying has become an experience once relegated to traveling to Communist dictatorships. Gun control measures encourage doctors to inform on their patients. Schools implement zero tolerance for pocket knives.

When criminals aren’t locked up, then everyone ends up in jail.

When we fail to lock up criminals, society becomes a prison. When we don’t institutionalize the insane, then society becomes the insane asylum. When we don’t stop foreign gangs and terrorists from entering our country, then we wake up to realize that we are living in El Salvador, Mexico, Pakistan or Iraq.

A moral society locks up dangerous people while a progressive society locks up everyone.

Gun control is a sensible measure in a society where criminals, madmen and terrorists freely roam the streets. This attempt to turn society into a prison won’t work because of the problem of scale. You can prevent guns from entering a prison of thousands of people, but not a country of millions.

“We should be more like Europe,” the gun controllers say.

But then why are French and Belgian soldiers deployed across major cities after Islamic terrorists carried out attacks with heavy firepower that killed over a hundred people? You can get a ‘military weapon’ in the capital of the European Union for $1,000 in under an hour. Gun control doesn’t work there. Or here.

There are two ways to cope with mass shootings and killings.

We can work to turn our societies into giant prisons in the hopes of impeding that 0.1% of the population which is inclined to violence over drugs, deranged fantasies or the Koran from shooting up malls, ramming cars into crowds, setting off pressure cooker bombs or flying planes into skyscrapers.

Or we can get rid of that 0.1% and actually have a free and safe society.

We’ve tried turning our country into a giant prison while failing to protect our borders, crack down on gangs or stop the psychos. And the experiment has devastated virtually every major city, cost tens of thousands of lives, made flying miserable, and brought our country to the brink of destruction.

Maybe we ought to try common sense instead.

Either that or we can pass the latest raft of “common sense” gun control laws that haven’t worked before while letting every Islamic terrorist and Latin American gang member enter the country, while letting every Chicago gang continue fighting its feuds, and while letting every deranged monster plot an attack while ignoring the warning signs until it’s too late. Surely gun control will stop all of them.

Every single one.

Constitutional conservatives often echo, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” But they neglect the obvious corollary. “Don’t lock up the guns, lock up the killers.”

Murder is a moral problem.

When societies such as Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan kill, it’s everyone’s moral problem. But when societies such as ours enable killers by failing to restrain them, that’s also true. A society engaging in mass murder has to remove its leaders. But a society where mass killers operate has to restore its morality by removing those, as Jefferson put it, “whose existence is become inconsistent with the safety of their fellow citizens.” Their existence is physically inconsistent because it’s morally inconsistent.

What unites mass killers, the terrorists and the psychos, the Neo-Nazis and the Antifas, the gang members and the drug dealers, is that their moral outlook is completely incompatible with ours.

Some criminals don’t have a moral outlook at all. Mentally ill killers may be so out of contact with reality that they are incapable of having a moral outlook. And terrorists have their own moral outlook, but one which would turn our society into a killing field and prison overseen by Islamists, Nazis or Communists.

The Left insists that we ought to take away guns and other freedoms equally from everyone.

We all ought to live in prison. Or none of us should live in a prison.

And we’ve tried it their way for three generations. We’ve built walls everywhere except around our borders. We share our communities with criminals and the insane. Every house has an alarm system. There may be as many as a million law enforcement officers in the United States. Are we better off?

The first prerequisite to any morality is understanding that actions originate within individuals. The Left is hopelessly immoral because it believes that actions originate within external social conditions. It insists that murder is caused by the social conditions of capitalism, the gun industry or poverty. It justifies its own massacres as attempts to remedy the social conditions of capitalism by force.

That’s why murder thrives under leftist governments, whether in Venezuela or Chicago.

If we want to stop mass killings, we have to restore a moral society based on individual responsibility. The alternative is living in one giant progressive prison with the killers, the psychos and the terrorists.

Either we control the criminals or we lose all control over our own lives.

The moral equation of murder wasn’t altered by the technology of the automatic weapon. The most ancient societies in the world have known how to deal with it. We chose to forget.

When Cain slew his brother with a rock, G-d drove him out of the civilized lands.

G-d did not ban rocks. He banned murderers.

If we want to stop killings, mass or singular, we have to drive our own Cains out of our civilization. Or reconcile ourselves to living in a society where Cain has a gun and Abel is always on the run.
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Daniel Greenfield (@Sultanknish) is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an investigative journalist and writer focusing on radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

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Will Fact-Checkers Foil Democrats' Attempts to Play the Race Card?

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Isaac Newton's third law of motion states that for every action in nature, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It can operate in politics, too. For example, Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith recently wrote, "It is part of Trump's evil genius that he elevates himself by inducing his critics to behave like him."

Call it Trump derangement syndrome, and recognize it for what it is: something that could end up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for the Democratic Party once again in 2018 and 2020.

Signs of that possibility are apparent in the polls. President Donald Trump's job approval has remained low, by historical standards, but it has also remained pretty steady -- and has been rising, just a bit, in recent weeks.

The standard pattern has been for presidents to start off their term with high honeymoon ratings and then sag somewhat in their second year unless buoyed (as both Bushes were) by perceived foreign policy successes.

What we saw in the midterm elections of 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2014 was the opposition party's winning majorities in both houses of Congress, except for the Senate in 2010.

Trump's trajectory has been different. After his controversial campaign, his barbed tweets and the revelation of the Hillary Clinton campaign-financed Steele dossier, he was never in honeymoon territory. His average job approval rating in the RealClearPolitics average never topped 46 percent -- the same percentage he won in the popular vote against Clinton.

In succeeding months, his numbers oscillated within a narrow range and often with no discernible (to the press, anyway) connection with events. As in the 2016 campaign, stories that would have hurt other politicians (Stormy Daniels, anyone?) seemed to have been priced in on attitudes toward Trump. You loved him or hated him -- and kept on doing so.

His recent upswing has his approval at 43.5 percent -- well below 50 percent but far higher than the 35 percent George W. Bush had before the Republicans' thumping in 2006.

Perhaps this reflects the economic upswing since the Republican tax bill passed in December. Perhaps it reflects presidential initiatives on Korea, Iran and China or the respect shown to him by the leaders of France, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany and others. He may be uncouth, some may think, but he's getting results.

And perhaps it reflects the Democrats' Trump derangement syndrome.

You had the spectacle of Bernie Sanders and 41 Democrats, including every Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on the Senate floor opposing Trump's nominee for secretary of state -- a nominee, Mike Pompeo, whose confirmation as CIA director some of them had voted for and who had been getting good marks at Langley.

That's as unprecedented as Trump's insulting tweets -- and less fact-based than many. Some Democrats complained about Pompeo's stances on gay issues. But they're the party that blocked for seven months the nomination of a gay ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell.

Another spectacle of Trump derangement syndrome was last Saturday's White House Correspondents' Association dinner, where a comedian's vitriolic monologue and mean-spirited attacks on Trump's press secretary validated his decisions this year and last not to attend. The event only further undermined the credibility of the anti-Trump press.

Its credibility may be further reduced if, as seems likely, special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation ends with no finding of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Much of the press, notably CNN, has treated the collusion story as a second Watergate, and many Democrats amuse their friends with little quips assuming Trump administration policy is set in Moscow. Not very funny anymore.

The collusion that seems more likely to have occurred is between Obama administration intelligence and law enforcement personnel and the news media to push the Russian collusion story largely or solely on the evidence of the Steele dossier.

Meanwhile, House Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer try to hush candidates baying for impeachment to meet the demands of party megadonor Tom Steyer and the majority of Democratic voters.

And they try to tilt local Democratic primaries toward candidates with military or law enforcement backgrounds and against "Resistance" types visibly afflicted with Trump derangement syndrome.

Looking ahead, it's possible that Republicans in 2018 and Donald Trump in 2020 could win based on solid achievements. But their chances will be aided if Democrats can't shake off their bad case of Trump derangement syndrome.

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.
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Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

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Trump’s Great Gamble

by Patrick Buchanan: Like the Russian army carting off German factories after World War II, the Great Arsenal of Democracy was looted by its postwar allies and adversaries alike. The weapon Trump is using to stop this looting is tariffs…

President Donald Trump’s reelection hopes hinge on two things: the state of the economy in 2020 and the identity of the Democratic nominee.

The further left the Democrats go to select their candidate, the greater the probability Trump wins a second term.

Thus Trump got good news this week.

The verbal flubs of Joe Biden reached critical mass. They are now so numerous and egregious they have begun to call into question whether Biden, who turns 77 in November, is really up to a year of campaigning, followed by four years of leading the nation in the world.

Nor is it only Trump saying this now.

The Biden staff appears to be agonizing over the endless reruns of Joe’s gaffes on cable TV. And a media that sees Biden as the best hope of bringing down Trump is showing signs of alarm.

A valid question arises, not only for Democrats:

Does the Biden we have lately seen in debate and on the stump look like a focused leader who could be confidently entrusted with the most powerful office on earth until January 2025, which would be the end of his first term?

What are the odds that, if he won the presidency, Biden could be a two-term president, until 2029, and not a visibly lame duck from Day One?

Yet, if Biden stumbles and falls before next spring, which seems more of a possibility than two months ago, it is almost certain the Democratic candidate and party platform will be outside the American mainstream.

Consider what the Elizabeth Warren-Bernie Sanders-AOC Democrats have on offer: A Green New Deal with government jobs for all. Net-zero carbon emissions. “Medicare for All,” including migrants here illegally. Free tuition at state schools. Forgiveness of most or all of $1.5 trillion in student debt. A trillion dollars of infrastructure. A $15 minimum wage. Reparations for slavery.

All this is being promised while the nation is running a $1 trillion deficit and facing trillion-dollar deficits through the first term of the next president.

And the national debt is already larger than the GDP.

But if the Democrats’ performances this summer were heartening for the president, what happened Wednesday must be causing palpitations.

The Dow Jones average plunged 800 points, capping a loss of 7% of its value in weeks. Capital is flooding out of equity markets into the shelter of bonds.

And worldwide, the news is not good.

The German economy, the world’s fourth largest, contracted in the first quarter. Factory output in China, the world’s second-largest economy, is growing at its slowest pace in 17 years.

Britain, another of the 10-largest economies, is about to crash out of the EU by Oct. 1. Hong Kong, its political crisis unresolved and the protests ongoing, is projecting zero growth.

The U.S. economy remains the strongest in the world, but U.S. growth in the second quarter was 2.1%, tepid compared to the 3.5% growth in the spring of 2018.

On top of this disquieting news on the economic front, Trump’s disapproval in the Fox News survey released Wednesday rose to 56%, a 5 percentage-point jump in his disapproval from July.

That the president laid Wednesday’s market swoon at the doorstep of the Federal Reserve suggests that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is being set up to take the fall if the economy goes south in 2020.

And going south is a distinct possibility. Bank of America Merrill Lynch puts the odds on a recession next year at 1 in 3.

From the media and political reaction to the Dow plunge, there is nothing Democrats would relish more than seeing the Trump boom, which has reduced unemployment to record lows, end in a recession, negating his greatest political argument and asset.

And if America can be talked into a recession, rely on the Beltway political and media elites to try to bring it off.

Which brings us to the China trade impasse, which involves a historic gamble by Donald Trump.

Trump seeks to throw out a free trade policy that, rooted in 19th-century ideology rather than U.S. national interests, threw open U.S. markets to the world and produced, over three decades, $12 trillion in trade deficits and a loss of 70,000 factories and 5 million manufacturing jobs.

Like the Russian army carting off German factories after World War II, the Great Arsenal of Democracy was looted by its postwar allies and adversaries alike.

The weapon Trump is using to stop this looting is tariffs, a price of admission into the U.S. market to replace the free passes foreign nations and transnational companies have had to produce abroad and sell into the USA.

Trump is using tariffs to coerce China to stop cheating on the trade rules we have established and to grant us the same access to her markets as producers in China have to the American market.

And he is betting his presidency he can pull it off.
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Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a blogger, conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior adviser to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

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Protests and Propaganda

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Poised to gobble up Hong Kong whole, completing the process Britain began when it ceded the colony back to China in 1997, the government of China remains concerned about world opinion, for it engages in massive propaganda.

“When a projectile struck a Hong Kong woman in the eye this week as protesters clashed with the police, China responded quickly,” explains an article in the New York Times. “Its state television network reported that the woman had been injured not by one of the police’s bean bag rounds, but by a protester.”

But that’s not the only kind of propaganda. If you have spent any time on Instagram, for example, you have probably seen the posts of Chinese people decrying the scandal and shame of how Hong Kongers resist government efforts at hegemony.

There is a name for this latter form of propagandist, “the fifty cent party” because the Communist Party is said to pay social media users for each pro-government post . . . though almost certainly not 50¢.*

The basic idea, according to General Secretary Xi Jinping, is to “to strengthen media coverage … use innovative outreach methods … tell a good Chinese story, and promote China’s views internationally.”

And managing its own population, as when, according to the Times, state media “posted what it said was a photo of the woman counting out cash on a Hong Kong sidewalk — insinuating, as Chinese reports have claimed before, that the protesters are merely paid provocateurs.”

These young street protestors are almost certainly not mercenaries, though they have sometimes faced what appear to be hired thugs.

The protests are a kind of insurrection. Strong resistance, at least, to being totalitarianized.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ ) is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Protests, Propaganda To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Senator Marsha Blackburn Introduces Federal Bill To Criminalize Female Genital Mutilation

Genital Mutilation
by Christine Douglass-WilliamsA Tennessee Senator, Marsha Blackburn, has introduced a federal bill that would criminalize female genital mutilation (FGM). It’s about time this law was introduced at the federal level and laws strengthened to aid the growing number of girls who are being abused by this procedure. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “over  500,000 women and girls have either undergone, or are at risk of undergoing the procedure.”

Four months ago, the Department of Justice decided to abandon efforts to uphold America’s FGM law, “concluding it is too weak as written and needs to be changed in order to successfully prosecute anyone.” This decision bore implications for two Michigan doctors, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala and Dr. Fakhuruddin Attar, and six others. Although FGM charges against them were thrown out last November by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman when he ruled them to be be technically “unconstitutional,” the two doctors still faced conspiracy and obstruction charges that could have sent them to jail for two to three decades, but the DOJ dropped all charges. Defense lawyers also “argued that the defendants are good, hardworking people with deeply held religious convictions who were involved in only mild procedures that are part of their faith,” in complete disregard for the suffering of their victims.

FGM, like many other human rights violations in Islam, is a religiously sanctioned practice, as stated in the Hadiths:

“Abu al- Malih ibn Usama’s father relates that the Prophet said: ‘Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women.’” (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 5:75)
“Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her: ‘Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.’” (Abu Dawud 41:5251)
Reliance of the Traveller — the classic manual of Islamic law — also states that “circumcision is obligatory for men and women.” (‘Umdat al-Salik e4.3)

In the U.S. Currently, laws about FGM differ from state to state, with many states having no laws against it at all.

A Tennessee Senator, Marsha Blackburn, has introduced a federal bill that would criminalize female genital mutilation (FGM). It’s about time this law was introduced at the federal level and laws strengthened to aid the growing number of girls who are being abused by this procedure. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “over 500,000 women and girls have either undergone, or are at risk of undergoing the procedure.”

Four months ago, the Department of Justice decided to abandon efforts to uphold America’s FGM law, “concluding it is too weak as written and needs to be changed in order to successfully prosecute anyone.” This decision bore implications for two Michigan doctors, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala and Dr. Fakhuruddin Attar, and six others. Although FGM charges against them were thrown out last November by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman when he ruled them to be be technically “unconstitutional,” the two doctors still faced conspiracy and obstruction charges that could have sent them to jail for two to three decades, but the DOJ dropped all charges. Defense lawyers also “argued that the defendants are good, hardworking people with deeply held religious convictions who were involved in only mild procedures that are part of their faith,” in complete disregard for the suffering of their victims.

FGM, like many other human rights violations in Islam, is a religiously sanctioned practice, as stated in the Hadiths:

“Abu al- Malih ibn Usama’s father relates that the Prophet said: ‘Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women.’” (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 5:75)
“Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her: ‘Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.’” (Abu Dawud 41:5251)

Reliance of the Traveller — the classic manual of Islamic law — also states that “circumcision is obligatory for men and women.” (‘Umdat al-Salik e4.3)

In the U.S. Currently, laws about FGM differ from state to state, with many states having no laws against it at all.

“Tennessee Senator introduces federal bill criminalizing female genital mutilation,” by Adrian Mojica, Fox 17, August 14, 2019:
H.R. 3583 and S. 2017 were each introduced in late June with the goal of overturning a 2018 ruling by a federal judge which found Congress was unable to pass a 1996 law which banned the practice on females under 18 except when done out of medical necessity.

The new bill would again ban FGM on girls under 18 and specifies on laws governing interstate commerce, which Congress has jurisdiction over. Otherwise it is up to the states to pass laws.

Tennessee passed a law this year which went into effect on July 1. Under the Tennessee law, it is a Class D felony to knowingly mutilate a female, facilitate the act, or transport or facilitate a female for FGM.

The state law also extends the statute of limitations for prosecutions and civil actions when it comes to FGM…..
----------------------
Christine Douglass-Williams article shared on Jihad Watch . Editor Robert Spencer (@jihadwatchRS).

Tags: Christine Douglass-Williams, Jihad Watch, Marsha Blackburn, Nashville, Scott Perry, Tennessee, female genital mutilation, Sharia, United States, women's rights in Islam To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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